Song of the Red-Legged Birds: Chapter 17: Burned
A casual stroll and a coffee
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Last week, in chapter 16, Holly dodged Oliver and reconnected with Takeda at the apartment
Chapter 17: Burned
He turned the corner casually, increasing his pace until reaching the intersection, then stopped and pretended to tie his shoe to get a look behind. It was clear. After turning left and walking with a purpose for three blocks, he flagged down a Flyer. Lights dappled the windows of the Flyer like electric rain as it glided through the city. With his thinking done, he got off at a random spot across town. He took out his phone and dialed.
"Yeah," a voice said like wet gravel.
"Destroy your phone. Get to dead drop number four in thirty minutes," the line disconnected.
He walked along the Charles River, stopping to light a cigarette and carefully looking around. Then he tossed his phone into the inky depths. It was a beautiful evening in downtown Boston, a shame that I fucked it up. He walked on for a while, stopping to grab a coffee at an automated roadside cart. He was at the parking garage when he'd finished it. He climbed the stairs to the floor below the roof and walked to the far back corner, where pipework ran from the floor to the ceiling. The level was devoid of cars; most parking garages were empty these days. A re-sealable bag containing a phone was taped to the back of the pipes. It rang the moment he took it out.
"Yeah," he said.
"Well?" the voice said.
"It was her. She saw it."
"She made you?"
"Yes. Was about to complete the mission when he arrived unexpectedly."
"You couldn't handle them both?"
"Not without being seen."
"They're already researching you. You're done. Don't go home."
"You're needed for one more thing. Part of this cleanup. It needs to be neat, tidy, and completed tonight. I'm sending the info. He's been spotted drinking there in the past hour. Get it done and get to the backup extraction point."
"Okay, I wasn't fond of the name Oliver anyway."
"Sorry," he said, the line went dead.
He read the text message, then dropped the phone and stomped on it. "Work, work, work," he said, walking across the garage, his heels echoing off cold, cracked asphalt in the night.
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Next week in Chapter 18, “A problem like Arthur,” Christo gets fallout from the top and briefs the tech team.